Sunday, 2 October 2011

Pets and Poetry - my dog helps me write

06:02:00 Posted by Ashley Lister , , , 6 comments

by Ann Wilson

When I’m asked about what I need to be a writer I list pens, paper, motivation, energy, time, space, my laptop, a recording device but from now on I’ll also mention my dog. Barbara my 7 month old border collie is a great writing buddy. Here are ten ways she helps me to write:

1. Walking with my dog is about a thousand times more fun than just walking – I meet some fantastic characters, I notice things I wouldn’t notice if I was out on my own, these are all great things to write about

2. I walk to different rhythms which helps with writing poetry and lyrics

3. I have to stop to pick up her poop – this keeps me grounded and reminds me to keep my writing real

4. Having pets lowers blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels. I’m able to write more when I’m calm

5. People watching is easier, sitting in the park or the middle of town for a while makes sense, I don’t just look like a sad loser with no mates

6. I can run anything by the pup and she thinks all my writing is fantastic, as long as I’m rubbing her belly she never criticises

7. I have to get up early and we have regular walks which keeps me in a routine, this helps me to organise my writing time and space and I do a lot of writing in my head while we’re out walking

8. Barbara curls up on my feet while I’m writing, instead of putting on the radio or TV for company like I used to, I can carry on writing for hours without feeling disconnected or lonely

9. Barbara motivates me to keep writing and keep being a freelancer, I need to work hard so I can carry on working from home, she’d hate being on her own all day

10. Barbara is just ace, she’s got a great personality and she makes me laugh, this means I feel happy and when I feel happy I write more.

If you’re a freelance writer and you’re thinking about getting a pet I’d recommend a dog, having a dog could help your writing too.


Ann the poet is available to perform at and compere events, lead workshops and write poetry for special occasions. For examples of her work please check out:


Ashley R Lister said...


Thank you for joining us here at the Dead Good Blog.

"I have to stop to pick up her poop – this keeps me grounded and reminds me to keep my writing real."

This reminds me of the times in winter when we're out walking our dogs, and I gallantly let my wife hold the full poop bags so that her hands are warm.

A wonderful post that doesn't shy away from the practicalities of being a professional writer.


MoonJumpingCow said...

A dog on its own makes a fantastic mascot. A dog, two cats and three parrots makes me glad of the 9-5.

I'd say your number 8 is underestimated though. I never realised until I tried it how problematic that isolation can be.

Thanks for a great read Ann.

vicky ellis said...

I think perhaps Barbara is a special dog. She sounds too good to be true!

Walking and writing is one of my fave hobbies too. I also recommend washing up and stuffing envelopes to get the creative juices running.

Looking forward to seeing you Friday :) xx

Barbara said...

Hello Ann
I skipped through your blog and numbers 8-10 caught my eye. I thought you were my biggest fan until I read it properly!! Only joking.I agree with all your points and can identify with them as I have a dog too.

Pet Lover said...

Feels fantastic, Pets always help us to overcome the isolation.

Dog Walking said...

It is really a nice post, its always great reading such posts, this post is good in regards of both knowledge as well as information. Thanks for the post.

dog walking